iPhone XS Max ranked #2 by DxOMark’s smartphone camera tests

DxOMark today published the results of its in-depth analysis of the iPhone XS Max’s rear camera. It achieved an overall score of 105 points, trailing only the Huawei P20 Pro at 109 in the site’s all-time rankings.


DxOMark evaluates cameras based on a combined score of photo and video performance. The total score is not out of 100. With that it mind, the iPhone XS Max that DxO tested scored notably higher at 105 than the iPhone X, which earned 97 last year. The company notes that it only tested the XS Max, but more or less expects the XS to perform the same, since they have the same camera systems.

In its testing, DxOMark found the iPhone XS Max to have “excellent” photo and video quality in bright light, with a “very wide dynamic range and good detail.” In terms of photo quality, they found exposure in outdoor images “tends to be spot on,” with high levels of detail and pleasant colors.

The review adds that Apple’s new Smart HDR feature generates images with “very good target exposure and a wide dynamic range in all conditions.”

The phone actually scored 110 in photo and 96 in video — the biggest weakpoints in photo being zoom and bokeh (depth-of-field), the latter because Apple’s simulated bokeh still makes mistakes in calculating depth, even if the XS Max does a better job than its predecessor.

DxO also took Apple to task for problems like underexposed flash shots, and luminance noise in zooms, shadows, and low light.

Video problems included the above-mentioned luminance noise as well as “unstable” white balance with indoor lighting.